No visible sign of insanity didn’t have to mean she wasn’t dealing with a possible psychopath, Eve privately acknowledged, biting back a grimace at the thought. Just her bad luck to run into a character with a mental disorder on an evening she was desperate to get home.
“Are you one of those cab drivers who like to double as comedians when with a passenger?” It was also probable that he was being funny. That he thought he was being funny.
“No.” His dark eyes didn’t blink from hers. “Say yes.”
“Say yes to what?” A hum of exasperation sizzled. “Did you hear the destination address I gave you earlier?” She repeated it and added. “Got it now?”
“Say yes. That is all it takes.”
“Listen, you might think you are being funny but I can assure you, you are not.” She should get down and flag down another cab, one part of her mind recommended. “You are a cab driver and your job is to get me home. You are a cab driver, right?” A cross-check on that fact might be necessary.
“I am.” His head dipped ever so slightly. “Say yes.”
“Ah, you are a cab driver who escaped a mental institution.” She’s had enough. Eve grabbed the door handle and pushed it.
But it was raining outside. Pouring heavily actually. Oh darn, Lindy and mum had been right… and the darn weather forecasters.
She yanked close the door and looked at him. He was still keenly watching her.
“Look, I’m not going to get into that heavy downpour just so I can get another cab. I’ve gotten into this one and you, my friend, are getting me home.” For some situations, a fearless handle on them was best advisable. “Now, once again, this is my destination.” She gave her address and then pointedly raised her eyebrows. “Let’s go.”
“Are you crazy or something?” The hum of exasperation was back and with a definite burn of impatience. “What the heck is the matter with you?”
“Will you stop repeating that like a phrase-demented parrot and start up this car?”
“I don’t want to say yes. Just move the goddamn car!”
“Fine. Fine!” This was the silliest debate ever. “Yes. Now can we get moving?”
“We can.” He gave his head that slight dip again and then swept it around.
“What are you doing now?” Eve demanded as he pushed open his door and got down. “Hey, what are you doing? Where are you going?” She spun around on her seat when her door squished open. “Why are you out in the rain instead of driving?”
But it wasn’t raining. Not anymore. And it didn’t look like it had rained. Not by the smooth dryness of the stone tiled pavement.
“What the…” The words trailed off as Eve dived out of the car. “Where the heck are we?” They were right beside a tall building that wasn’t at all Lindy’s family home. “Where is this place and how did we get here?” They… he hadn’t even switched on the car.
“Come, we are running late for our appointment.”
“Appointment? What appointment?” Eve absently noted that his hand which he’d slipped over her own was strong and soft-palmed. A soft masculine texture. “When did you get on that suit?” He was in a dark grey suit and looked like a chief executive not a cab driver. “Were you in a suit earlier?” She whirled her gaze to the double glass doors that hummed open of their own accord. “Where are we going? How did we get here?”
“Good morning, Mr Adam.” The lady—a woman possibly in her mid-twenties, immaculately dressed in a skirt suit of some dark shade of green and impressively pretty and wide-smiling, greeted. “We’ve been expecting you both. Miss Eve, you’ll follow me and we’ll get started at once.”
“Miss… Eve? How the hell did you know my name?”
“Of course I know your name, Miss Eve.” The lady chuckled. “Come now, we don’t want to run behind schedule, do we?”
“I don’t know.” Eve swung her eyes around. The cab driver… Adam was heading in another direction. “Hey!” She ran to him and grabbed his arm. “Stop there! What do you think you are doing? Who the hell are you and how did you get me here?”
“Calm yourself, Eve. Everything’s as it should be. You said yes and that is all that matters.” His voice and his dark eyes were tender and caressing. Like a lover’s.
“Yes?” Eve shook her head. Puzzled at the tickling sensation his tone and eyes aroused. “I said yes and that is all that matters? Yes to what? What did I say yes to?” Her heart was beginning to thud and her head twirl.
“To us getting married, of course.” His mouth curved in a smile. A sexy smile. “We are getting married, Eve. You know that.”
“We are getting…” Eve stumbled back and right into the lady on suit. She whirled around and grabbed the hand that caught her fall. “Oh God, please help me. I don’t know him. He’s… he’s kidnapped me. I got inside his cab and… and he kidnapped me. He brought me here… and I don’t know how. But we are not getting married. We can’t be. I don’t know him. Please, I beg you, help me!”
“Oh you are having cold feet, Miss Eve. It’s expected.” The lady laughed and linked their fingers, pulling Eve forward. “It’s all right. You will have a glass of wine and…”
“I am not having cold feet and I don’t want a glass of wine!” Eve snapped. “I don’t know that man.” She threw a glance over hers shoulder but he was gone. Probably had slipped through one of the many open entrances in the stupendously lit and decorated hall. “I don’t know who he is… or who the hell you are.” Eve tightened her grip on the long fingers curling around her own. “But you need to help me. I need to get away from here. To get home.”
“Of course I’m going to help you. That is why I’m here.” The lady’s smile was soothing. “I’ll help you dress for your wedding to Mr Adam.”
“I am not marrying Mr Adam!” Eve howled. “I don’t know Mr Adam and I don’t want to marry him.”
“What is this nonsense you are talking?”
Eve spun around and had to swallow her yelp. Right inside the room they just walked into was her mother… strolling towards them, smiling indulgently.
“Mum, what are you doing here?” Eve gaped at her. Like the lady, she was wearing a suit, but one of brighter colour and of more perceptible quality. “Where did you get that suit?”
“From my closet, where else?” Her mother laughed in a chiding manner and took her hand from the lady’s. “Look at you, all scared and panicked. It’s nerves. Laura, get her a glass of champagne.” She threw the instruction over one shoulder.
“I’ll do so right away, ma’am.” The lady answered and strutted off.
“I don’t need champagne, mum, and we need to get out of here. Mum?” Eve steadied herself and faced her. “Mum, I don’t know this Adam. Until I got into his cab this evening, I’ve never seen him before in my life. He asked me to say yes and then…”
“You said yes and now you are getting married.” Her mother beamed as she interrupted her. “Yes is the magic word. It makes magic.”
“Yes is the wand that sets it off.” Eve muttered the remembered words and it dawned on her. “Oh God, I am dreaming. This is not happening. It’s a dream. I’m asleep on my bed and dreaming. Thank God!”
“It’s going to be a dream wedding for sure.” Her mother, obviously not paying attention to her, laughed with delight. “Adam’s prepared everything. He wants today to be perfect for you.”
“Adam is a cab driver, mum. Doesn’t that bother you?” Since it was a dream, she might as well play along.
“A cab driver? Yeah right.” Her mother chuckled. “He’s a millionaire and owns Stallion oil. Now, sit down and put up your feet. I’ll go get you a glass of champagne. It will help you relax.” Her mother swept towards another open entrance.
“You already asked the lady on suit to get me a glass of champagne. But this is a dream, so I’m sure she’s evaporated into thin air.” Eve sank into the couch and sighed with pleasure at its leathery softness.
Maybe cab-driver Adam was indeed a millionaire oil mogul—in this dream world, of course. And in this dream world, she was soon to become his wife. A millionaire, good looking man’s wife. Not bad… for a dream.
The door burst open. A door she hadn’t earlier noticed and three men marched in.
“Let me guess.” Eve said, amused as she looked them over. They were all in black suits. “You are my bodyguards and you’ve come to convey me to the wedding venue. You’ll, of course, have to be patient, because I haven’t put on my dress. Don’t know yet where it is.”
“Miss Eve?” One of the three, the brawnier of them, inquired.
“I sure am Miss Eve.” She must say she didn’t mind being addressed like some kind of VIP.
He gave a single nod, then ordered. “Take her.”
“Take me where?” Then she yelped when the two other men roughly grabbed her arms. “What are you doing? Who are you and where are you taking me?”
“We are taking you to our king.” The leader—he had to be the leader since he’d given the order—replied.
Great! Just when she started enjoying the fact of marrying a cab driver turned millionaire in a dream, it wasn’t happening anymore.
“And why are you taking me to him?”
“Are you Miss Eve?”
The room spun once and even as Eve tittered out a scream, she found herself standing in front of a massive wood door with a crown inked at its centre. The three men in black suits were gone.
“This is the gate to the king’s palace?” She muttered and rolled her eyes. “Not spectacular. I’d rather have remained in the other world.”
The door groaned open and Adam covered the entrance—with only a loin cloth around his waist and dark tattoo drawings on his bare ripped chest.
“What happened to your designer suit?” Eve demanded.
“Come, I’ll take you to the king.” His head dipped low and he stepped back from the door.
Eve stared at him. He was a servant now? And they were in… another era?
Oh God, this was a time-travel dream!